On Oct. 20, the Dons (7-0 overall, 3-0 Peninsula Athletic League) defeated Burlingame (4-3 overall, 0-3 PAL) 14-8 in a defensive battle.
The Dons and the Panthers both relied on their defense, limiting each other to under 10 points until the fourth quarter. The toughness and physicality of both teams prevented the other from running any successful offense.
“We were very physical,” said head coach Steve Sell. “Except for that one drive in the first quarter, they didn’t get anything.”
However, after struggling on offense for the majority of the game, the Dons found themselves trailing 8-6 for the first three quarters. The lack of offensive charisma for both teams could be attributed to the poor air quality and lack of practice on the field.
“We haven’t been practicing that much on the field because of the air quality,” said senior defensive back Davion Cox. “We barely got enough practice time.”
The Dons were also subject to many holding penalties as well as continuous fumbles, restricting their offense and preventing them from moving the ball downfield.
“The holding penalties really hurt us,” Sell said. “Anytime you have holding penalties, it’s kind of arbitrary and it puts your offense in a bad spot because [we] like to run the ball.”
Early in the fourth quarter, junior running back Paul Lautaimi ran in a 30-yard touchdown. to put the Dons up 12-8. With a 2-point conversion, the Dons extended the lead to 14-8.
Midway through the fourth quarter, Cox intercepted a pass from Burlingame senior quarterback Carlo Lopiccolo. Cox’s interception gave the Dons the momentum they needed to close out the win.
“We always feed our energy off of big plays,” said senior quarterback Gabe Campos. “Those were two big plays that got us going and got our energy going.“
Aragon looks to stay undefeated on Oct. 27 in a battle against another undefeated team, Half Moon Bay (7-0 overall, 2-0 PAL).